Sen. Tim Scott ‘disappointed’ bipartisan police reform negotiations failed
Fox News political analyst Gianno Caldwell says 'only idiots thought defunding the police was a good idea.'
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said in a statement Wednesday that he was "deeply disappointed" that Democrat colleagues walked away from the negotiation table during discussions on a bipartisan police overhaul that has been going on for months.
Despite the slow progress, there were some agreements on issues like banning chokeholds, curbing the transfer of military equipment to police and increasing funds for mental health programs.
"Crime will continue to increase while safety decreases, and more officers are going to walk away from the force because my negotiating partners walked away from the table," Scott, a Republican negotiator, said in a statement.
President Biden put the blame on Republicans for rejecting even "modest reforms."
The failed congressional effort followed high-profile police killings last year of Black people, including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville. Biden on Wednesday called Floyd’s killing "a stain on the soul of America," and said, "We will be remembered for how we responded to the call."
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., told reporters there was a point when it became clear that the impasse would not be resolved. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told CBS that Booker did a "great job trying to bring people together," but the Republican Party "has become a right-wing extremist party."
"On basic fundamental issues of police reform, we have gotten no support from Republicans and I hope people understand this," he said.
Scott’s statement said that Democrats walked away because they "could not let go of their push to defund our law enforcement. Once again, the Left let their misguided idea of perfect be the enemy of good, impactful legislation."
"Reverting to a partisan approach to score political points when American lives are at risk is just plain wrong. As they are doing on so many other issues, I fear Democrats will continue to pursue a partisan route to create problems in search of solutions," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report